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The Loop NFL Picks: Week 5



The Loop NFL Picks: Week 5

Every Sunday, Kevin Cusick makes his predictions against the latest Las Vegas point spread, the way God intended …

Lions at Vikings (-7½):
Coach Mike Zimmer says of his 1-3 Vikings, “I firmly believe that this is a good football team.” Some Minnesota apologists say they’re only a few bad plays away from being 4-0 on the season. Not really. But the Vikings would, in fact, have a chance at finishing 17-0 if they got to play Dan Campbell’s Lions every week.
Pick: Vikings by 11

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches his team from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Titans at Jaguars (+4½):
Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer says he didn’t consider resigning over the “distraction” he caused the team last week in a Columbus, Ohio, barroom. So the Jaguars’ coach is now expected to limit his participation in lap dancing and blonde groping to taverns in Duval County.
Pick: Titans by 7

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Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Bills at Chiefs (-2½):
Bills wideout Cole Beasley complained after last Sunday’s game about Buffalo fans that booed him because of his vocal opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine. Beasley was so upset by the disrespect that he refused to salute the fans with a tip of his tinfoil hat.
Pick: Bills by 7

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Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley (11) caries the ball after a catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team in Orchard park, N.Y., Sunday Sept. 26, 2021. (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Dolphins at Buccaneers (-10½):
Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, fresh off a postgame hug with longtime coach Bill Belichick, dismissed reports of stress in their relationship as overblown, saying “nothing is really accurate.” It just goes to show again that, when in New England, Brady is really good at deflating things.
Pick: Buccaneers by 17

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) points toward the sidelines prior to an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Bears at Raiders (-5½):
Rookie Justin Fields, asked if he’ll be the Bears’ quarterback for the next 10 to 15 years, says “I don’t even know if we’re going to be on this Earth for the next 10 to 15 years.” That’s a level of optimism and positivity normally seen only in longtime Chicago fans.
Pick: Raiders by 7

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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields reaches out for his fumble after being stripped of the ball by Detroit Lions linebacker Charles Harris during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. The Bears won 24-14. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Broncos at Steelers (-1½):
Struggling Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger admits that “I need to be better” for the last-place, 1-3 Steelers. But that’s on the field. Off the gridiron, Big Ben has been much better, as he has managed to go a full decade without being accused of another crime.
Pick: Steelers by 3

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Giants at Cowboys (-7½):
The Giants’ Jabrill Peppers raised eyebrows by dropping a loud F-bomb after winning the overtime coin toss in New Orleans. To prevent further outbursts of foul language on unsuspecting TV viewers, the NFL will now broadcast coin tosses only on HBO.
Pick: Cowboys by 7

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(screen grab from YouTube)

Packers at Bengals (+3½):
The Packers picked up Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith just days after he was waived by Dalas. The Cowboys are still responsible for paying nearly all of Smith’s $7.2 million salary this season, which will seem especially ironic when Smith’s new team knocks the Cowboys out of the playoffs come January.
Pick: Packers by 7

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FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, file photo, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys are moving on from Smith without getting into the specifics of the decision to release their leading returning tackler four games into 2021. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman, File)

Colts at Ravens (-6½):
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh admitted he ordered a final-seconds running play instead of taking a knee solely to pad the Ravens’ rushing total last Sunday in Denver. While the play pushed them over 100 yards, it also reminded folks that maybe little brother Jim is NOT the most juvenile Harbaugh.
Pick: Ravens by 3

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Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh argues a call with the referee during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Eagles at Panthers (-4½):
The notoriously nasty Eagles fans were at it again last week when some of them pummeled a guy wearing a Chiefs jersey, and the assault became a viral sensation. On the plus side, the K.C. fan is expected to be OK, as tests showed he was not infected with the Philly fans’ rabies.
Pick: Panthers by 2

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Real fans are sprinkled amongst cardboard cutouts during an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Patriots at Texans (+9½):
Former defensive player of the year Stephon Gilmore, no longer wanted in New England, was quickly picked up in a trade by the Carolina Panthers. The move is shocking, because it’s not like Patriots overlord Belichick to give up on his aging veteran stars.
Pick: Patriots by 17

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New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore (24) knocks a pass away from Carolina Panthers’ DJ Moore (12) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

Jets vs. Falcons (-3½):
Pick: Jets by 3

49ers at Cardinals (-5½):
Pick: Cardinals by 3

Saints at Washington (+1½):
Pick: Saints by 7

Browns at Chargers (-1½):
Pick: Chargers by 3

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, middle, is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive back Ryan Neal (26) and strong safety Jamal Adams during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Week 4
10-6 straight up
9-7 vs. spread

40-24 straight up (.625)
33-29-2 vs. spread (.532)

Point spreads through Thursday. You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Jets head coach Robert Saleh calls Brian Kelly ‘a phenomenal man’ after snow shoveling story resurfaces



Jets head coach Robert Saleh calls Brian Kelly ‘a phenomenal man’ after snow shoveling story resurfaces

Robert Saleh tried to dig out of a snow-shoveling hole he dug himself with his old boss.

The Jets head coach used part of his Wednesday press conference to say that his unflattering story-telling about working for Brian Kelly at the beginning of his career was taken out of context.

“I feel terrible,” Saleh said.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky wrote a feature on Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in 2019, brother of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, on how LaFleur rose up from the ranks from lowly college assistant to the NFL.

The article included an anecdote from Saleh — Matt LaFleur and the Jets boss were graduate assistants at Central Michigan under Kelly from 2004-2005 — about the two attending a party at Kelly’s home during the winter break. But they weren’t on the guest list, they were there to work.

“We shoveled the snow and parked all the cars,” Saleh said in the ESPN article. “Then, at the end of the night, we had to go get the cars again.”

That night caused some self-reflection for the two and Saleh told Matt later that night, “that when we’re in that position, we’re never going to treat people the way we got treated,” according to the story.

When former Notre Dame head coach Kelly became LSU’s head coach on Monday, the quote popped back up and Kelly’s character took some heat.

Saleh believes the quote was taken out of context and said the story was meant to be funny and explain the trials that came with being a graduate assistant.

“Part of that article was to tell a funny story of Matt and I as GAs. Part of being a GA … every single coach in this profession, there’s a rite of passage whether you’re a GA or a QC [Quality Control]. And that was a funny story.”

There is a contradiction from Saleh because in the article he mentioned he wouldn’t treat anybody that way. So how was that taken out of context?

Saleh didn’t answer, other than to talk about what a great guy Kelly is.

“Not an indictment on how Brian treated us. Brian is a phenomenal man. He really is and that was just one of those deals. That was supposed to be a funny story that people took in a negative light,” Saleh said. “Shame on me. I should have worded that better but there’s a reason why Matt went back and worked for him. There’s a reason why I tried to go back and work for him. He’s a really good manager and treats people the right way.”

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Avalanche was 7-1 in Nathan MacKinnon’s absence. “Excited to try and help keep this thing rolling,” he said pregame from Toronto.



Avalanche was 7-1 in Nathan MacKinnon’s absence. “Excited to try and help keep this thing rolling,” he said pregame from Toronto.

TORONTO — After the morning skate at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar confirmed top-line center Nathan MacKinnon will return to the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight to begin a five-game trip.

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Sheriff: Boy’s parents called to Oxford High before violence



Oxford High School shooting: Fourth student dies


OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other crimes for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald did not reveal a possible motive for Tuesday’s violence at Oxford High School and declined to comment when pressed about whether she believed the victims were specifically targeted. But she said the shooting was premediated, based in part on a “mountain of digital evidence” collected by police.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard later told reporters that the boy’s parents had been summoned to the school before the violence. Bouchard wouldn’t discuss details of the behavior school officials were concerned about.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” he said.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of firing a semi-automatic handgun in a school hallway, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. At least seven other people were injured.

Crumbley was charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment.

“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.

The shooting should be a wakeup call for new gun laws in a country that has become “desensitized to school shootings,” McDonald told reporters.

“We have to do better,” McDonald said without offering specific changes. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”

The charges were announced a few hours after investigators reported that a fourth student had died.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? … Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community. The charge of terrorism reflects that,” the prosecutor said.

Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and arrested Crumbley in a hallway within minutes of the shooting. His father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer gun last week, according to the Oakland County sheriff.

McDonald strongly suggested that more charges will be filed.

“We are considering charges against both parents and we will be making a decision swiftly,” she said.

“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities, while also cautioning against spreading social media rumors before a full investigation.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe downplayed the significance of a situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown off the school roof, which he said was “absolutely unrelated” to the shooting. The incident prompted school administrators to post two letters to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumors of a threat against the school but had found none.

Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face. They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, she said.

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting.

At a vigil Tuesday night at LakePoint Community Church, Leeann Dersa choked back tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has lived nearly all of her 73 years in Oxford. Her grandchildren attended the high school.

“Scared us all something terrible. It’s awful,” Dersa said of the shooting.

Pastor Jesse Holt said news of the shooting flooded in to him and his wife, including texts from some of the 20 to 25 students who are among the 400-member congregation.

“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re OK. We heard gunshots, but we’re OK.’ They were trying to calm us, at least that’s how it felt,” he said.


Associated Press journalists Ryan Kryska, Mike Householder and David Aguilar in Oxford Township, Michigan; Kathleen Foody in Chicago; and Josh Boak in Rosemount, Minnesota, contributed to this report. AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed.

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